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Re: changing "configure" to default to "gcc -g -O2 -fwrapv ..."

From: Richard Kenner
Subject: Re: changing "configure" to default to "gcc -g -O2 -fwrapv ..."
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 09:35:03 EST

> I would think that it would be a common consensus position that whatever
> the outcome of this debate, the result must be that the language we are
> supposed to write in is well defined.

Right.  But "supposed to write in" is not the same as "what we do to avoid
breaking legacy code"!

I see it as similar to the old CS engineering principle of "be conservative
in what you generate but liberal in what you accept".  We certainly should
encourage people to write correct code (and change GCC to only use correct
code), but that doesn't mean it's not worth spending some effort to avoid
penalizing old code that doesn't follow those rules.

I am being very careful to explicitly not propose that we document exactly
what exceptions we make, but we just use engineering judgement to make them
in such a way to have a reasonable compromise between code quality and not
breaking old code.  If we DO document exceptions then we are indeed encouraging
people to write in some ad-hoc language and I agree with you that doing so
is a very bad idea.

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